After enduring a seemingly endless slide on the monthly FIFA rankings, the Super Eagles, Nigeria’s national team finally took a leap yesterday as it moved up three steps to now occupy the 60th spot, a position it shares with the Reggae boys of Jamaica, in the June edition released by the world football governing body.
Despite the leap, the Eagles are however still ranked outside the top-ten teams in Africa as the Coach Stephen Keshi tutored side are currently in the 11th spot on the continent.
The Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire, who are occupying the 16th spot, remains Africa’s highest ranked team.
Commenting on the latest development, former super eagles assistant Coach Joe Erico described the upward movement as a welcome development though pointing out that the Eagles still have a long way to go to return to top.
“That’s a good development, for me getting qualification for both the World Cup and Nations Cup will definitely rub off on our rankings. I am happy with the work Keshi and his assistants are doing presently but I will want them to double their efforts,” Erico said.
SPAIN ON TOP
Meanwhile, Spain will begin their defence of the European Championship as the world’s top-ranked team, while Germany lost their No 2 slot to Uruguay in the June rankings.
Germany fell to No 3, ahead of their Euro 2012 group opponent the Netherlands. Group B rivals Portugal plummeted from No 5 to the 10th position.
Brazil and England each rose one place to No 5 and 6, respectively.
Argentina climbed two to No 7.
Croatia, who play Spain in Group D, remained at No 8.
Denmark rose one to No 9, completing a Group B line-up of elite top-10 teams.
Mexico heads CONCACAF countries, up one to No 19. The United States climb one place to No 28.
Japan are now Asia’s best, rising seven spots to No 23 while Australia are at No 24.
A total of 115 matches have been taken into account for the current edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, 28 of which were Brazil 2014 qualifiers and the remaining 87 friendlies.